Poland/France – On 27 October, Polish President Andrzej Duda visited Paris where he was received by his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, at the Élysée Palace. The two heads of state discussed Franco-Polish cooperation in the economic, energy, and security fields, as well as political cooperation within the European Union. They also discussed the migration crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border. The Polish president said he was very satisfied with his third meeting with Emmanuel Macron in six months, saying he hoped “this important, friendly conversation will benefit Poland, France, and the EU”.
Towards a Franco-Polish partnership in the nuclear field
An important part of the talks between Duda and Macron was the energy issue. Poland is considering buying French technology to build Poland’s first nuclear power plant in Pomerania, with the French company EDF – one of the world leaders in this field – among the three companies competing for the contract.
“France is a European partner with extensive experience in nuclear energy. We will need nuclear power plants if we are to meet our climate commitments. We have no other choice
(…) Poland and France are important strategic partners in the field of energy”, President Duda said.
A Europe of free, equal, and sovereign nations
The two leaders also discussed the future of the EU, with Duda suggesting that the French motto “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” (liberty, equality, fraternity) should be used as a model:
“I also have a vision of a European Union of free nations, equal states, and sovereign states. This is extremely important”,
stated Andrzej Duda, who also explained to the French president how the reality in Poland is systematically distorted in segments of the media, and in particular the Western media: “There are also a lot of lies in all of this which are very hard to accept, and that’s also what I told President Macron (…) it worries me a lot (…)
The Poles have made electoral decisions that do not please […] everyone. As you can see, [some] do not respect democracy, [they] only have the word in their mouths, [but] in fact they do not want to accept the outcome of democratic elections.”
For his part, Emmanuel Macron stressed his intention to “continue the dialogue on how to overcome the rule-of-law crisis” within the European Union as France prepares to preside over the EU Council from January to June 2022.
French support for Poland against Russia
In the field of defence, the French President offered France’s help to Poland in the context of the Russian and Belarusian threats, of which the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border is one aspect.
“Our position counts for a lot, and I am happy that France sees the prospect for cooperation and that this cooperation is long-term”,
President Duda explained. “We are allies, we are partners, and in NATO we are allies, literally. I am pleased that France wants to strengthen European security.”
France and Poland want a strong European Union
The head of the International Policy Office of the Polish Presidential Chancellery, Jakub Kumoch, as quoted by the news website wPolityce, summed up the meeting between the two presidents as follows: “The two presidents stressed that Poland and France are important strategic partners in the field of energy and that they intend to develop this cooperation significantly and on several levels.
They also discussed ways to achieve a reduction in tensions between Poland and EU institutions as soon as possible in the context of the upcoming French Presidency.
Both Poland and France are interested in a strong European Union and in overcoming divisions within the Union.”